LONDON – On the death of Elizabeth II, newly appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss called the queen a rock on which England was built, which in her view …
“is a great country because of her.” But there are not a few who have not forgotten England’s colonial past especially under the reign of the queen: American university professor Uju Anya described Elizabeth as “the chief monarch of a violent genocidal empire of thieves.”
At the time of her passing, Elizabeth II was still the queen of 14 countries in addition to those that make up the so-called United Kingdom. However, apart from Canada, Australia and New Zealand, these nations are mainly small remnants of the former empire in the Caribbean and South Pacific. All others have drifted away from the crown, although they maintain a privileged link through the Commonwealth. England is a country that today with its gross domestic product of $3 trillion becomes the sixth largest economy in the world.
The words of the Carnegie Mellon University professor refer to the atrocities committed by the British in colonial times in Africa. Especially the atrocities in Kenya that continued until the 1960s. Professor Uju Anya responded thus to those who criticized her harshly for the harsh message, “If anyone expects me to express anything but contempt for the monarch who oversaw a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and whose consequences those living today are still trying to overcome, they can continue to wish for a star.”
Just as a small example, we can cite–in the same African country of Kenya–the case of the women of the Samburu and Maasai pastoral communities in the Eastern provinces and the Rift Valley, where some 2,000 women recounted being raped during the years of British presence in their territories, demanding reparations for the atrocities committed. Even more vicious treatments were inflicted on those fighting for independence.
Queen Elizabeth was the embodiment of a world that no longer exists, a nineteenth-century state that has changed in size, realm, features, and above all has seen human beings change almost anthropologically in nature. But while Elizabeth had no specific political powers, she was a skillful strategist in building a new model of consensus toward the British Crown, very attentive to the ‘sentiment’ of the media-conditioned Western masses.